The house was a bustle of activity the instant the kids stepped off the bus and dashed inside. Books and backpacks were tossed aside haphazardly, the horde was hungry. Snacks and juice were divvied out and almost as quickly as it began, the dust settled and the mini-tornado that had touched down, was gone. The old man looked at his wife and smiled. Curious, they wandered toward the bedrooms and peeked in. Each of the four children had their books open, working on their homework. Just before five, Erica returned from work, surprised to find her children hard at work. Homework was often a struggle. She returned to the kitchen to find her parents working together on the dinner preparations.
“Okay, who are they; and what have you done with my children?” Erica laughed, pointing toward the bedrooms. “Not that I’m complaining but I usually have to threaten to tie them to the desk before they crack open the books. So, what’s your secret? Incriminating photos, mind control drugs in their juice boxes, what?”
Her father shrugged, indicating that he had no idea what inspired the change.
“Don’t you dare act all innocent,” the matriarch scoffed, her hands planted firmly on her hips. “Those kids are dying to hear more of your story and they don’t want to be interrupted again like last night. Maddie let the cat out of the bag. She said they all decided to get their homework done ASAP so they could spend more time with Grandpa. She said they’re even willing to sacrifice TV time because you’re, quote, cooler than anything on television.”
The old man’s chest puffed with pride. He’d never been called “cooler than television” before but he was beginning to like the sound of that.
“Not bad for a retired, old, Viet Nam Vet,” he quipped. "It just so happens we're about to get to the good stuff soon."